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New England» Forums » Variants

Subject: 3 Player Variant rss

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Michael Kandrac
United States
Grand Prairie
TX
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New England plays best with the standard rules and components with four players; I don't believe there are many who would disagree with that premise. With 3 players, IMO, the game lacks the scarcity of resources that is a quality of a game with four players. As an example, if all four 10 point settlements are included when playing with only three players, there is then 1.3 tiles of this type available per player instead of one per player.

The simple solution (that works!) is to eliminate 25% of the resources.

Remove:

5 - Each of the Land Tiles (15 total)
4 - Pilgrim Cards
3 - Barn Cards
3 - Ship Cards
1 - 10 Point Settlement Card
1 - 6 Point Pasture Card
1 - 3 Point Pasture Card
1 - 6 Point Farm Card
1 - 2 Point Farm Card


This reduction of 15 tiles and 15 cards will also make for a shorter game with a much better trajectory.

The other issue is the board size. With 3 players there is more space available per player, but the game does not suffer from this additional space per player if the non-playing fourth family's start tiles are played to the board.

Each player in addition to their 3 start tiles receives one of the start tiles of the fourth, non-playing family. We use the Annable Start Tiles for this. In this way, all 12 Start Tiles are included in the 3 player game and serve to make the board small enough to make expansion a bit more challenging. The Annable Family does not have a turn nor are their land holdings expanded - their starting tiles merely take up space and add a strategic element to the Start Round.

I have found this variant to be a great way to improve 3 player games of New England. Give it a try the next time you have only 3 players for this excellent game.

Gg
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John Roach
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Ellesmere Port
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I haven't played this variant but I am intending to do so tomorrow. One thought has crossed my mind though - following the logic of reducing the resources and development cards would it also be appropriate to reduce the total display of items to be auctioned to 7 in a round rather than keeping it at 9? I suggest a minimum of 2 tiles and 2 development cards. This would mean 12 rounds compared to 13 in the normal 4 game. Keeping the display at 9 would reduce the rounds to 9 which seems to mitigate against the intention of keeping the board tight.
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Michael Kandrac
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Phoenixgeek wrote:
I haven't played this variant but I am intending to do so tomorrow. One thought has crossed my mind though - following the logic of reducing the resources and development cards would it also be appropriate to reduce the total display of items to be auctioned to 7 in a round rather than keeping it at 9? I suggest a minimum of 2 tiles and 2 development cards. This would mean 12 rounds compared to 13 in the normal 4 game. Keeping the display at 9 would reduce the rounds to 9 which seems to mitigate against the intention of keeping the board tight.


This is a fine idea, John, and it is a logical extension of the the other resource reductions I've proposed.

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Michael Kandrac
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Yesterday I was able to revisit 3 player New England with the variant described here including the adjustment reducing the displayed items from 9 to 7 as suggested by Phoenixgeek.

The game played beautifully with my 2 novice opponents in about an hour with the final scores coming in at 30 - 27 - 25.

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